All the latest from this year's Los Angeles Motor Show, with debuts from Audi, BMW, Kia, Porsche, Mazda and Toyota
The 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show kicks off today with a host of manufacturers, including the likes of Audi, BMW, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes, Porsche and Toyota, all descending upon the famous LA Convention Center.
The LA Auto Show is the third American expo on the international show calendar and is one of the oldest still running; the event was first held back in 1907. Every year, brands from the United States and the rest of the world reveal new production cars and ground-breaking concept designs, and this year is set to be no different.
We’ve already seen the new Mazda 3 and Porsche 911 break cover, but we’re also expecting Audi’s e-tron GT Concept, BMW’s X7 and the new Kia Soul to feature. There could also be a few surprises, but as ever we’ve got boots on the ground and we’ll be bringing you all the latest news as it happens.
Scroll down below for all the key cars at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show, plus a look at what each manufacturer will be bringing to the show…
2018 Los Angeles Motor Show: Key cars
• Audi e-tron GT Concept – Fresh Audi concept confirmed earlier this year, previewing upcoming all-electric five-door coupe.
• BMW X7 – BMW’s biggest SUV ever in line for first public showing.
• Kia Soul – Boxy new mini SUV on the way with all-electric power.
• Mazda 3 – Mazda’s new Golf rival arrives with revolutionary engine technology.
• Porsche 911 – 992 generation 911 makes Los Angeles arrival.
• Toyota Prius – Toyota’s hybrid superstar has been facelifted for 2019.
2018 Los Angeles Motor Show: A-ZAudi
• Audi e-tron GT Concept
• Audi R8 Facelift
Audi has already confirmed that a new e-tron concept is heading to the show, which will preview an upcoming, high-performance, all-electric four-door coupe. Confirmed for production in 2020, the e-tron GT Concept will eventually turn into the brand’s Porsche Mission E alternative. The new, more powerful, facelifted R8 will also be present, and we’ve already driven it.
• Bentley Continental GT Convertible
A new drop-top Bentley has been revealed. The new Continental GT Convertible will go on sale early in 2019, priced from around £175,000 – a premium of around £25,000 over the hard top coupe. From launch, it’ll only be offered with Bentley’s 6.0-litre, 626bhp W12 under the bonnet. A V8 powered version is due at a later stage.
• BMW 8 Series Convertible
• BMW M340i xDrive
• BMW Vision iNEXT
• BMW X7
There will be plenty to see on the BMW stand. Headlining the show for the brand will be the new X7 – a full size Range Rover rival and the largest SUV BMW has ever made. We’ll also get to see the new 8 Series Convertible in the metal for the first time, alongside the six-cylinder M340i xDrive and the huge BMW Vision iNEXT concept.
• Byton K-Byte and M-Byte
A recent addition to the electrified market, Chinese start-up Byton plans to showcase its K-Byte Saloon and M-Byte SUV concepts. The K-Byte we’ve seen before, but the M-Byte is a new addition to the line-up. Marketed as a ‘Smart Intuitive Vehicle,’ the M-Byte will features tech such as a 49-inch touchscreen display spanning the width of the dashboard and side-view cameras in place of door mirrors.
• Hyundai Palisade
As well as the returning Le Fil Rouge Concept, Hyundai is set to unveil the Palisade, although it was leaked earlier this month. This premium SUV will sit above the Santa Fe in the company’s range, targeting growing families. Tasked with muscling-in on the market dominated by the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander in the US, the Palisade is expected to have seating for eight.
• Jeep Gladiator
Details on the new Jeep Gladiator pick-up truck have been leaked by the diligent members of the Jeep Gladiator Forum ahead of its official release at the LA Motor Show. Allegedly the new Gladiator will feature a 285bhp 3.6-litre V6, lightweight aluminium panels and a 3.5 tonne towing capacity.
• Kia Soul
The all-new Kia Soul is set to make its world debut at this year’s Los Angeles Motor Show ahead of going on sale in the UK in 2019. We’ve already seen the new model testing in the wild, but now Kia has released a shadowy teaser image of the new Soul’s flank which better details the small SUV’s boxy design. The model is expected to be sold only as an electric vehicle in the UK.
• Lincoln Aviator
This three-row premium SUV will slot between the upcoming Nautilus and the flagship Navigator – but it’s a car only for the US. It’s expected to feature innovative technology, such as reverse brake assist and Suspension Preview Technology – a system which scans the road for imperfections and preloads the suspension to maximise passenger comfort
• Mazda 3
One of the stories of the show is over on the Mazda stand, with the world debut of the all-new fourth-generation Mazda 3. Previewed last year, the hatchback variant of the new Mazda 3 sticks pretty close to the design principles outlined by the Kai concept. Both hatchback and fastback variants have been revealed, while under the bonnet, the Mazda 3 is the first model to use the firm’s new Skyactiv-X engine technology.
• Mercedes AMG GT R Pro
Following the reveal of the new B-Class, GLE and A-Class Saloon at the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes will focus on the AMG GT in Los Angeles with the debut of the AMG GT R Pro. It’s shaping up as a far more track-focused version of the 577bhp AMG GT R, likely fielding some weight saving techniques, suspension revisions and new aerodynamics. With the AMG GT now three years old, the AMG GT R could mark the midpoint of the 911 rival’s lifespan. A facelited AMG GT has also been spied testing, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it this week, too.
• MINI special editions
MINI will line-up in LA with four new special edition models strictly for the US market. Two new John Cooper Works MINI hatch models arrive in the form of the Knights Edition and the International Orange Edition (pictured).
Elsewhere, a new version of the MINI Countryman Cooper S will also be showcased, called the Countryman Yin Yang Edition. The Clubman hasn’t been left out either – there’s a new Cooper S engined special edition version of that, too.
• Polaris Slingshot
The Polaris Slingshot is about to receive a few siblings – four new Slingshot variants will be shown at the LA Auto Show; the S, SL, SLR and Grand Touring. Each increase in trim level provides an increase in driver comfort, with the range-topping Grand Touring model being fitted with such creature comforts as ‘a roof’ and ‘a windscreen,’ as well as a seven-inch touch-screen display.
• Porsche 911
While recent Porsche news has concerned the brand’s turn towards electrification with the upcoming Taycan, the new 911 takes the brand squarely back to its roots at the LA show. The new 992 generation 911 has made its full debut and is the latest chapter in the iconic model’s 45-year evolution. For now the new-generation car has just been showcased in Carrera form, but high-powered Turbo, GT2 and GT3 models are expected further down the line. Porsche is also tipped to introduce a plug-in hybrid 911 during the 992’s lifecycle, too.
• Rivian R1S
• Rivian R1T
Tesla won’t have the electric pick-up market all to itself as American start-up Rivian has revealed its challenger. The R1T is 5.5-metre pick-up with four electric motors, which each produce 197bhp. That means 14,000Nm of torque and a claimed 0-60mph time of around 3 seconds. Although primarily for the US market, it could be coming to Europe in 2021.
Joining the R1T, is the R1S SUV. The all-electric seven-seater shares its powertrain with the pick-up and promises true off-road ability, with a three-foot wading depth, underbody protection and plenty of performance.
• Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius has been updated for 2019 and the big news is that an all-wheel drive version will be coming to Europe for the first time. The facelifted car, which has been revealed in LA, has been tweaked inside and out, with new front and rear headlights and a new front bumper the standout additions.
Which car do you think will be the star of the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show? Let us know below…